Oregon State University President's Report 2000
  Excellence  |  Partnerships  | Creativity  |  Frontiers  | Communities  |  Momentum 

A New OSU Foundation
During the past two years, Oregon State University has undergone an ambitious, yet well-planned reorganization of its philanthropic "infrastructure" to better align the university's resources to support private fund-raising. Now all of those resources are under the leadership of the OSU Foundation and its new president and CEO, Rebecca Cole.

The move is particularly timely because the role of private giving is becoming increasingly important to Oregon State.

While the university did receive about $11 million if new public monies in 1999, a significant portion of this will be used to maintain current programs and services, and provide additional classes to accommodate OSU's increased enrollment.

In the new millennium, the role of private giving will be critical in helping the university build on its current strengths and provide a compelling educational experience for its students. Already, gifts to the university from individuals, corporations and foundations have helped OSU increase student scholarships, endow faculty chairs, and support academic programs and other university initiatives, from educational services in central Oregon to investments in athletics.

The newly aligned and restructured OSU Foundation is now poised to lead that effort into the 21st century, identifying new sources of support for the university.


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Momentum into the 21st century

President Paul Risser

Paul G. Risser
president of
Oregon State University

While momentum is a term most frequently applied to sporting events, it is less commonly applied to organizations. And yet, momentum is now the most common word used to describe Oregon State University. Momentum captures the University's progress -- or forward motion -- in many of our most important endeavors: rapidly increasing student enrollment; increasing quality of students and significant growth of the Honors College; increased faculty success in capturing competitive grants and contracts; and the significant growth in OSU Statewide, offering education and lifelong-learning opportunities to an ever expanding market.

In a world operating on "Internet time," truly effective organizations are characterized by the individual and collective energy that creates organizational momentum. Because of the superb quality of our faculty, staff and students, Oregon State now is on this path. We will sustain this momentum because the university is aligning its attention and resources on specific goals that lead us to our view of the university in the future.

As we understand the future, we believe that the university will benefit from quality partnerships and collaborations. Teaching and learning both will be enriched with appropriate and perhaps not-yet-known application of new technologies. The student learning environment will be more stimulating with increasingly diverse participants. The university will contribute to the world around us by continuing to research and study the most significant issues of society, and by providing the public with balanced analyses of them. In all of our endeavors -- in learning, discovery and outreach -- Oregon State will benefit from the integral involvement and advice of practitioners, and our students will grow through the opportunity to learn while doing.
Benton Hall

As Oregon State University enters this future, we are energized by our essential role in the success of individuals and our society. And, I believe, the momentum we have achieved -- and will sustain -- ensures that Oregon State University will be an exciting place to learn, explore and serve.

back to top New funding model will allow flexibility, demand accountability
The 1999 Oregon Legislature signed off on a revolutionary new plan to allocate funds to the institutions within the Oregon University System. In doing so, the legislature replaced the Budget Allocation System with a system that directly ties allocations to enrollment gains. What does this mean for Oregonšs universities?

"It will make all of us more flexible, it will make us more accountable and it will engender a little competition which, I think, will be healthy," said Rob Specter, vice president for finance and administration at Oregon State University.

Under the previous model, the Oregon University System pooled tuition revenues and doled them out to maintain a balance among the member institutions. It was a plan that required stable revenues and managed enrollment growth, neither of which characterized Oregon in the 1990s.

Under the new approach, revenue from student tuition will go directly to the universities that enroll those students.

It will change the way universities do business. And it is a change for which Oregon State University is ready.

back to top Developing New Programs for the Future
OSU is well positioned to attract students. No university in Oregon offers as many different programs as Oregon State University. Indeed, many programs are offered only at OSU, from veterinary medicine and pharmacy, to specific areas within agriculture, oceanography, forestry and engineering, to name a few.

When market factors change, Oregon State University necessarily has changed with them. The need for greater access to higher education in Oregon has been apparent for a number of years. At the same time, the boom in technology changed the capabilities for learning tremendously.

At his first University Day speech, President Paul Risser told the assembled faculty and staff of Oregon State that the opportunity for change was not just available, it was essential.

"If we don't change," President Risser said, "we won't be in business."

It was a sobering moment, but it also ignited a spark. By spring term of 1999, Oregon State through OSU Statewide was offering about 80 distance courses students could take anywhere in the state. No one else in the state, and few universities anywhere, offer such an array of programs.

back to top A Sound Financial Future
Along with flexibility and competition comes accountability. Oregon State has learned from mistakes that resulted in substantial budget deficits. By the end of the latest fiscal year, the university had balanced the budget and instituted a system of stringent checks and balances for all units.

With revenues rising with the university's skyrocketing enrollment, Specter says a top priority is to re-establish an adequate reserve account.

The new funding model also will provide additional monies for engineering, statewide services, a tuition freeze for in-state undergraduate students, and faculty and staff salary increases.

"We're in a new era of competition for enrollment," Specter said, "and we're well positioned for the changes the new funding model will bring."

back to top A Ten-Year Perspective on OSU Operating Budgets

During the past decade, the revenue sources of Oregon State University underwent some subtle yet important shifts. From 1988 to 1998, the percentage of funding the university received from state appropriations declined, while the university saw increases in dollars from private gifts, grants and contracts, which primarily are restricted to specific projects and purposes.

Also increasing during that time is the importance of student tuition and fees to the OSU budget.

Overall, the university's revenues increased from $238 million in 1988 to $368 million in 1998, with a commensurate increase in expenditures. In terms of overall dollars, every source of revenue increased. As a percentage, however, the revenue today is more restricted to specific purposes than 10 years ago. State appropriations, which primarily support student services and course delivery, topped $87.7 million in 1988, which accounted for 36.8 percent of the budget. Ten years later, state appropriations totaled more than $105.9 million, dropping to just 28.7 percent of OSU's overall revenues.

The university has made up the lost revenue from other sources. During that 10-year period, private gifts, grants and contracts rose from $83.6 million to a 1998 total of $126.8 million.

Also increasing were student tuition and fees, from $27.2 million (11.4 percent of the budget) in 1988 to $67.4 million (18.3 percent of the budget) in 1998.

To help influence students' choices in an increasingly competitive market for top students, Oregon State increased its commitment to scholarships by nearly 73 percent, from $10 million to $17.3 million, and scholarships continue to be among the highest fund-raising priorities of the university.

Overall, with its increasing enrollment and its increasing grant and gift funds, Oregon State is well prepared for the competitive higher education environment of the 21st century.

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